Idoia Uriarte, Director of Television Operations, Euskaltel Group
The Spanish television market has become increasingly active and exciting as new players and service providers enter the market. Pay TV, in particular, is at an inflection point, providing new opportunities for telecommunications operators to differentiate themselves from competitors. This is becoming an increasingly important issue as the pay-to-view TV market continues to grow across the board, and new over-the-top (OTT) services penetrate the Spanish market.
Euskaltel Group is responding by capitalizing on an increasingly demanding, tech-savvy market of six million people who are hungry for new and innovative services. To that end, we are working with partners like Technicolor, to deploy state-of-the-art gateways with Wi-Fi, voice and broadband embedded in a single box and support for 4K ultra high-definition HD TV, DOCSIS 3.1 and more.
Euskaltel is a leading telecommunications service provider in Northern Spain that serves over 800,000 residential customers and companies. In addition to delivering services through our fiber optic network infrastructure, we offer 4G mobile services.
To give you an idea of Euskaltel’s growth, our contracted Pay TV products increased from 250,191 in 2015 to 270,333 in 2016, and after buying Telecable this year, the number has exceeded 400,000 pay TV products. The number of Euskaltel customers using new TV functions is eight times bigger than the number using those same functionalities two years ago. And the number of hours spent watching TV with these new functionalities has been multiplied by 20. So, everything about our TV service is rapidly growing fast. Offering the right features and the right content is really a must for us.
A Hybrid Approach to OTT
Euskaltel is focusing on deploying hybrid solutions that integrate OTT with traditional services. We do this for a couple of reasons: 1) we have to offer customers global and local TV content; and 2) we see opportunity in offering consumers access apps and content through different devices like PCs, tablets, and smart phones.
Hybrid solutions enable us to deliver a variety of services – pay-to-view television, local and global content, video on demand and even apps like online banking and internet access – to any device, including their TV screens. The TV set is also ripe for gaming, and for innovative new apps still to be developed. This is creating a whole new ecosystem around TV consumption. Euskaltel wants to give customers new ways to engage with, watch and use the TV set.
There are also new opportunities on the horizon related to advanced technologies like virtual reality and augmented reality. This could provide customers with completely new viewing experiences, creating new potential revenue streams for telecom operators, and also for developers.
Partnerships with companies like Technicolor are critical. The whole industry has to work together to make it easier to securely connect different devices in the home network in a way that is easy, useful, intuitive and attractive.
Editor’s Note: Find out more details about Euskaltel’s hybrid OTT approach on the embedded podcast!